The Latest Trends for Tiny Homes in Arizona

By
Real Estate Agent with Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 SA5376460000

With affordable housing becoming scarce, some home owners are turning to tiny homes versus the traditional built home.  Living in a tiny home comes with it's challenges - mainly space.  In order to pull of a tiny home existence, minimalizing must be accomplished. 

 

According to the International Residential Code, Tiny homes are a livable space less than 400 square feet.   Lately, there have been a variety of these smaller homes entering the marketplace.  But I don't see them on our Arizona Regional MLS.  Searching for the latest trends in tiny homes, I scoured Youtube.com to find any information on this segment of the housing industry. 

In Maricopa County, tiny homes or ADU's can be in a rear yard, but can't exceed 30% of the space and do require setbacks.   This is more information for Maricopa County regarding guest quarters and attachments.

 

Searching for tiny homes in Arizona, I found a plethora of options that home owners have created for their own homes.  Whether they are made from shipping containers, converted sheds, or newly constructed, the differences are vast and they typically cost less than full-on construction.  It was very interesting looking at the creative storage solutions underneath staircases, overhead cabinets, and built into furniture options.  

 

As you might guess, with affordable housing on the decline, other housing options are being explored.  A tiny home can be affordable and customized for a home owners' particular needs.  Buying land, or using a family owners backyard might be options for some.  

 

There are many builders and others who have shared their information on YouTube in your city, state.  Make sure to check zoning and the requirements if your tiny home has wheels.  The minute you install wheels, your tiny home becomes a recreational vehicle and is subject to other insurance and building codes.  

 

One such YouTube I found included a Navajo couple and their son who were priced out of an apartment.  The rent was so high they had no budget left for food, gas or other essentials.   The solution - build a tiny home that is off-grid.  The family built their tiny home from a converted metal shed.  Their tiny home includes an outside shower, garden, and animals.  They have repurposed materials from their wedding into their garden and surroundings.  The results are surprising and the surroundings, blissfully serene!  After viewing their story, I felt sharing this would provide answers and information to others who might also be considering a tiny home. 

Imagine a family of 5 in a tiny home!  Yes, it's true a family of 5 left Scottsdale for Northern Arizona to live in an Airstream trailer but then moved into their tiny home.   After losing a family member, realizing life is short, and reducing their belongings by 90%, they settled into their tiny home. 

They purchased this historic property that includes a historic cabin that the family uses as play space for their 3 boys!   

It's been great researching tiny homes in Arizona in the tiny home world.  Watch for a podcast produced by the National Association of REALTORS® in July where Christopher Matos-Rogers, REALTOR®, Coldwell Banker, Atlanta; and I talk about sustainability and tiny homes!   

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Comments (34)

Dorte Engel
RE/MAX Leading Edge - Bowie, MD
ABC - Annapolis, Bowie, Crofton & rest of Maryland

Dear Jan,

That outdoor shower must get really refreshing in the winter. Your area has been known to get cold too from time to time.

May 30, 2022 06:27 AM
Brenda J. Andrew
ULTIMA REAL ESTATE - Willis, TX
Professional Realtor in Conroe/Willis, TX

Hi Jan, I loved the first video. I am going to come back and watch the 2nd one.  I think it is amazing someone can live in such small space - this family rocks! Thanks for sharing, this is so encouraging and inspiring.  

May 30, 2022 08:58 AM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi Jan:

Great article and information on tiny homes. They have certainly become much more mainstream. I'm off to watch the videos!

Not sure a tiny home is my thing, although if I could perch one on the bluff at the beach...

Jeff

May 30, 2022 12:11 PM
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

I came back to this post accidentally but it’s a good subject to see where everybody stands and I really like all your answers

May 30, 2022 09:58 PM
Lynn B. Friedman CRS Atlanta, GA 404-939-2727
Atlanta Homes ODAT Realty - Love our Great City - Love our Clients! Buckhead - Midtown - Westside - Atlanta, GA
Concierge Service for Our Atlanta Sellers & Buyers

Jan Green 
Totally enjoyed the two videos! 
Different families with same goals - live THEIR lives as they wanted to do.
Tiny homes with creative living spaces can be so functional.
All the best - Lynn

May 30, 2022 10:11 PM
Carla Freund
Keller Williams Preferred Realty - Raleigh, NC
Carolina Life RealEstate & Relocation 919-602-8489

Great post Jan! While I can't personally imagine living in a Tiny house I can certainly see how others can. I've met several people who are minimalist. I really admire those who live this way. 

May 31, 2022 06:24 AM
Jan Green - Scottsdale, AZ
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

Anna Banana Kruchten CRS, Phoenix Broker thank you for reading and commenting!  It was a blast coming through the videos on YouTube - there were so many!  I found one of a couple guys who bought  mobile home park in Florence and did in-fill building of tiny homes on 7 of the lots.  So smart!  But yikes, did you see the closet space in the 2nd video?!  Work clothes wouldn't fit in that space!  

May 31, 2022 09:20 AM
Jan Green - Scottsdale, AZ
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

Thank you Carol Williams !  Did you catch the closet space in the 2nd video?  Yikes!  The historic cabin and acreage were a bonus for that family.  How neat for the family to unplug!

May 31, 2022 09:21 AM
Carol Williams

I've been watching Tiny Home Masters on TV and now I have them all jumbled up on who had what. I find them all fascinating as to how creative they get with space and storage.  I don't ever see myself scaling back that far but, in reality I don't NEED all this stuff and space to keep it.

May 31, 2022 09:38 AM
Jan Green - Scottsdale, AZ
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

Imagine downsizing your belongings to fit in that tiny home Joan Cox !  Kudos to those that can do that.  I've downsized about 4 times to the home I'm in now, but it's still 1500 sq ft! 

May 31, 2022 09:21 AM
Joan Cox

I got rid of so much when I moved 4 years ago, but didn't really downsize, still have around 3500 sf, but now is a ranch with a basement, and was a two-story before.   I "right-sized"!

May 31, 2022 09:52 AM
Jan Green - Scottsdale, AZ
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

You're right Laura Cerrano .  A while back I watched several tiny home videos from an Australian host.  He toured several countries and the differences in construction were themselves works of art! 

 

Thank  you for reading and watching the videos Lynn B. Friedman CRS Atlanta, GA 404-939-2727 .  I was so inspired by the NAR interview and then switched over to tiny home videos and just had to write about them.  They are gaining in popularity, but aren't for everyone.  I think I could do it if I lived further north in Arizona where I could maintain a garden.  There's nothing like fresh veggies!

May 31, 2022 09:24 AM
Jan Green - Scottsdale, AZ
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

So true Leanne Smith !  The only way I could conceive of how to minimalize is to take only what you need out of your existing house and sell the rest since there isn't much room for anything.  When I downsized in 2006, I did just that, but still had to downsize 2 more times before I bought my current 1500 sq ft house.  I get downsizing, but a tiny home is a whole 'nother ballgame!  Thank you for reading and commenting!

May 31, 2022 09:26 AM
Jan Green - Scottsdale, AZ
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

Carla Freund I understand completely!  A former client showed me how she minimalized her closet and I was amazed.  She had 2 pair of slacks, about 4 shirts and 2 sweaters!  She mixed and matched each.  Personally I'd get tired of the same clothes.  The clothing industry is such a non-sustainable industry.  Clothes can be produced so cheaply overseas, using cheap labor, and many chemicals.  Not good for the environment.  About a couple weeks ago, Green Living Magazine here in Phoenix hosted an "eco fashion" show to demonstrate how clothes can be repurposed, changing their designs with existing clothes.  Some wore vintage items that they had turned into other designs.  It was really cool! 

May 31, 2022 09:29 AM
Carla Freund

Interesting. I like clothes. I donate clothes when we're done with them. I'm sure there's more we can do.

Jun 01, 2022 05:37 AM
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Realty - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

Hi Jan,

You have done a lot of great research here.

I watched a series on HGTV about Tiny homes.  It was very interesting.  There are lots of restrictions in the cities I serve.  It is not really an option at this time.  Possibly it could get some traction if the cities get behind some sort of cooperative.  Many of the people who work in Sedona (including teachers) can't afford to live here.  I am on a board that meets about affordable housing.

May 31, 2022 01:37 PM
Jan Green - Scottsdale, AZ
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

I would love to know what affordable options can be available to those in  your area.  I understand how affordable housing is difficult in your area.  I've done research on homes in Cottonwood and now Camp Verde.  Our company, Sustainability Advisors may be doing some work there, but not selling real estate.  I've joined SVVAR for information purposes.  We shall see!  Would love to hear how your meetings go as we might be able to provide affordable housing. 

May 31, 2022 05:20 PM
Jeffrey DiMuria 321.223.6253 Waves Realty
Waves Realty - Melbourne, FL
Florida Space Coast Homes

I love the idea of a tiny vacation house. I perfect easy to maintain vacation paradise.

Jun 01, 2022 10:30 AM
Jan Green - Scottsdale, AZ
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

Great thoughts Jeffrey DiMuria 321.223.6253 Waves Realty !  I found one YouTube video of a guy who did just that.  He also made it more energy efficient to lower overhead costs, which makes total sense!   Thanks for stopping by and for commenting :) 

Jun 01, 2022 10:57 AM
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
Retired New Hampshire Home Stager

Great information on tiny homes in Arizona, Jan.

When we downsized to 1500 sf it felt like we were in a tiny home...I can't imagine having only a third of that.

They are adorable and I'm sure perfect for many people!

Jun 01, 2022 01:58 PM
Jan Green - Scottsdale, AZ
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

I so appreciate your home size Sharon Tara !  I've downsized 4 times to get to 1500 sq ft, 1494 to be exact.  It would be unbelievably difficult to get rid of 90% of your stuff!  Yes, there are some adorable ones.  I've been watching YouTube videos of all kinds of them, even in Australia and New Zealand!  Now that's scenery!

Jun 01, 2022 03:51 PM
Tom Bailey
Margaret Rudd & Associates Inc. - Oak Island, NC

We have seen some tiny housing here in Wilmington NC, but not much. We do have a shipping container community. Check it out here https://www.cargodistrict.com/ . We are a port city so there are a lot of containers here. We are on the Cape Fear River (same river as the movie) and have a permanently attached house boat community.  https://atlantichouseboats.com/ 

Jun 03, 2022 11:21 AM
Jan Green - Scottsdale, AZ
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

Thank you for sharing the link of your tiny home community Tom Bailey .  It's very cool looking and I love what they've done with the balconies, transom windows and shade over the patio.  The grocery looks like a "Q hut" that I've seen built in California.  I really appreciate seeing this!  Very cool!   Even better, a realtor friend of mine moved to Oak Island, Mark and Gail Johnson, but they ended up moving to Ashville.  so I've heard a bit about Oak Island!

Jun 04, 2022 02:40 PM